To continue with the question. "Awareness depends on interest. What creates interest...?" Why are you interested. Are you not interested now? You are actually listening to me; why? Either you are mesmerized by my words, or there is interest, obviously, I hope you are not mesmerized by my words. Therefore, there is interest. Why are you interested? Because I am interested. I am urgently interested in that which I am saying, and not only for the moment. I am interested vitally in solving the problems of man, which is myself; and because I am enthusiastically, keenly interested, you also are interested. But the moment will come, as soon as you leave this place, when you will fall back into the routine of your property, your ownership, your job, and all the rest of it. You are interested, because I am interested, because I am tremendously concerned. So interest is catching, only then it is not lasting.
There is good influence, and bad influence; and since I am not interested in influencing you one way or the other, you lose interest. And to be influenced is wrong, it is fatal; because if you can be influenced by one, you can be influenced by another; like fashion, influence changes and therefore has no significance. But, if you are earnest in yourself, then you are alive, not only now but constantly, to the enormous significance of the crisis. And if you are not interested, it is your misery.
What makes one man interested, and another indifferent? What
makes you not interested - that is the problem, not the indifference of another. Why are you indifferent? That is the problem, isn't it? Why are you indifferent to the problem of starvation, to the problem of consciousness, to the problem of finding a solution for all existing problems? What makes you indifferent? Why aren't you interested in all this? Have you ever sat down and thought about it? Obviously, we are not interested for the very simple reason that we want distractions: the guru, the leader, the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible and so on. They are all distractions, and distraction dulls the mind. The very function of a guru is to dull your mind. That is why you go to him - to pacify yourself, to give yourself satisfaction. Otherwise, if you did not seek satisfaction, you would never go to a guru. You want satisfaction, and therefore your mind is made dull; and in what can a dull mind interest itself? It is interested in everyday existence, how to put on a new sari beautifully. So, we are caught in the ways of dullness because to think very earnestly is to be discontented, which is very painful; and most of us do not want to invite sorrow. We want to avoid sorrow, and so our whole structure of thought is a confusion, is a distraction.
So, what is important is not who is indifferent, but why you yourself are so superficial. Why are you caught in this extraordinary net of suffering? Surely, the answer lies in discovering for ourselves the causes that make us dull, insensitive - insensitive to human suffering, to the trees, to the heavens, to the birds; insensitive to our human relationships. To be sensitive means pain; but we must be painfully sensitive in order to understand. But we stop on this side of pain and try to escape from it, which reduces us to imitative machines.
Public Talk 25th January, 1948